Humor Month, Passover, Friendship & Love…

Hi there,

We begin the Humor Month with lots of laughter, but that is not the case this time around. It’s a mixed bag. It’s up to us now to find out the elements of laughter and live those moments. Happiness is only in the moment and that moment can be fleeting. Let’s find out those moments…

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A Joke Stretched Too Far

Humor is a dicey weapon. You may crack a joke that sends a room of people into peels of laughter. The same joke can fall flat on another set of people and you may regret that dinosaurs are not around to come and gobble you up. Something similar happened to Steve and Rick. Steve took it in his stride that we pulled that April Fool’s Day prank on him. A little aside on that: he had turned up in formal clothes at Starbucks, sharp on time. Then we walked in and he was red faced. We didn’t torture him much on that and had a great time after that.

After the digression, let’s come back to our story. Steve was cool about the joke initially. As the day progressed, more people started calling him up and slowly he lost his cool with his each new caller. Finally it was Rick who blew the lid off! He called up and drawled about Steve making a fool of himself and losing his wits for Natalie and other related stuff. That is when Steve snapped and told him a few nasty things. I don’t know exactly what he said, but it was pretty bad and Rick didn’t take it nicely.

As the thing is now, the battle lines are drawn. And that too over a joke. Steve insists that Rick had no right to bring Natalie into the joke, and Rick feels that if Steve cannot take a joke, he might as well take a walk in the park. A couple of peace attempts initiated by Irina failed. I think things will settle down and cool off once some time has passed. It’s futile now to go and talk reasons to them when they are so bent on taking this joke to a ridiculous extreme. On the other hand, I feel guilty because the joke was my idea. I never really thought that it would come to this. What should I do now?

Two Great Lovers

Love is an emotion that has different connotations at different points of time. It is also a factor of age. Love as it is to a teenager is not the same as it is to a middle-aged person. Frank and Eleanor started late, but are collecting each moment as a precious gift, storing them in the fond cells of their minds. Their love is a sort of an example for young people, feels Megan. She pays Eleanor a visit often, helping her with some chores now and then. Megan told me how Frank helps Eleanor do the daily tasks. Eleanor has a chronic pain in the spine, a reminder of an accident she suffered as a child. The pain stiffens during winter. Then she faces difficulties in picking things up from the floor. That’s where Frank helps her.

Last weekend, Eleanor and Frank went out for a stroll. They had people saying hi to them and congratulating them. The news has spread like wildfire that Frank proposed Eleanor on Valentine’s Day. They have been around for some months now. Love touched them at a stage in life when they are already past their prime. But that has not dented their emotional expanse. Love for them is companionship and being there for each other. I have never seen them disagree on any point. They seem to know telepathically what the other wants. I have heard them say the same thing simultaneously! Now I have seen some couples be together for years and they still look at each other when quizzed on their partner’s choices.

Frank is also a big fan of events like the Great Lovers Day. He told me, “Bob, let me know about these events! I want to celebrate all these events with her.” Now what would I say to that? I was all too happy to agree to give him the updates of these events well in advance, so that he can plan accordingly. I’m really impressed to note the honesty of Frank’s intention. He’s been able to stand up to an amazing woman like Eleanor and yet hold his own. Both of them have not changed as persons, Eleanor being the same friendly grandmom to Andrew as she is a support to me. Love for them is something that has made them better human beings, instead of coming in the way of their growth as individuals. I think that’s a great accomplishment and I wish them the best in the future!

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A Passover Invitation

I think some of our best moments are those when we meet an old friend after years. The past always seems to be painted in bright colors, as compared to the present. Eleanor chanced upon an old friend when she was out shopping. This gentleman had been a friend of Mr. Bradley as well. He’s been a common friend of the Bradleys for decades now. He had been away across the pond and they lost touch soon after. He also had no information that Mr. Bradley had died few years back. He was heart-broken to learn his old friend was no more.

He has invited Eleanor to a Passover dinner at his place. Eleanor was hesitant. But when they sat down for coffee and chatted away about the olden times, she slowly let go off her inhibitions. She told him about Frank and how she has found love again. Her friend was delighted to know about it. He expressed a keen desire to meet Frank, after Eleanor told him more about the man in her life. He wants Eleanor to come to the Passover dinner with Frank. Eleanor gladly accepted the invitation.

Passover time is always special for Eleanor. Being a religious lady herself, she has a lot of respect for other religions and cultures. I had some delightful mouthfuls of turkey at her place once during Passover. I think I’ll miss out on that treat this year around, if she’s going to that friend’s place. But, I’m sure she’ll make up for it with some gorgeous little cookies sometime soon! She’s a great neighbor to have friends, trust me on that!

Old Friends, New Ties

Friendship has a strange habit: it develops at unexpected places and at unexpected times. You may have had contacts with a person for sometime, but never really been pally. Suddenly something happens and you realize that both of you could be great friends and you have lost out on a lot of time. Megan and Kate have known each other for a long time now. But there has not been too much of a friendship between them. They socialize together, but Kate was always more friends with Irina and Megan was more friends with Donna. Recently there has been a shift in this equation. The American Idol stuff has got Irina on better terms with Adrian.

Kate, who is not so social anymore after her break up, called up Megan and appreciated her for helping Donna out. If you have missed that story, you can read it here. Kate praised Megan for being so selfless and that really made Megan feel special. She thanked Kate, and invited her over to her place. Megan, who is now a sous chef, made all sorts of delicious stuff. I have a grudge that I was not invited, but that’s a separate story. Kate was all praise for Megan’s culinary skills and also slammed me for being critical of Megan’s talent!

Wow! My friends can really form the most complex equations. I tried to explain Kate that I was not really against Megan’s abilities, but she would hear none of them. I reminded her that when she tasted some of Megan’s earlier efforts at the oven, she had cringed on the first bite! Kate told me that I could not excuse myself by talking about the past and I have to admit Megan’s a great cook. I relented and repeated after her that Megan was great cook. This new friendship has been a cause of concern for us. Kate has revealed to Megan her detractors in the field of cooking. Now both these friends are going at us, daggers drawn. Take cover!

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A Debate Over Saying ‘Thank You’

Saying ‘Thank You’ is an art form. We all thank people around us in different ways. When it’s a child we want to thank, we bring in a soft, velvet voice, when we have to thank our friend, we say it brightly. If it’s a close person we are thanking, we feel the appreciation more than we express it. We may just mumble a thanks, but in our heart we retain that sense of gratefulness. If it’s our parents, we want to thank, we don’t thank at all! We take it for granted that we deserved the favor and move on. Sad, but that’s the general scenario.

Ethan and Emily took lessons from Rachael and got amazing grades. They want to thank her. But they have a difference of opinion on that. They are not being able to decide on how to thank Rachael for her help. Ethan wants it to be something cool, while Emily wants to do it in a soft way. That’s inevitable, because they are children and their tastes will be vastly different because of their difference in gender. What amazes me is that they are so insistent on having it their own way. They have been taking this thanking part really seriously, and they are religiously trying to figure out a way.

They have a list of Rachael’s likes. Emily wanted to buy something for Max, Rachael’s pup. Her reason is that Rachael loves her pup to death and if the pup is happy with the gift, it’ll delight Rachael as well. They also tapped me for my inputs. I told them that Rachael would be happy with any gesture that they came up with. In fact, it was not even needed. They can always count on Rachael anyway. But they shot down the suggestion in a jiffy. They told me that they would think out something. Last heard, they were still plotting. You can help them with ideas too! Write in.

The Zen quote this week is by William Arthur Ward: “Feeling gratitude and not expressing it is like wrapping a present and not giving it.” Exactly the sentiments of Ethan and Emily, won’t you agree?

So long then,

Editor, 123Greetings

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One thought on “Humor Month, Passover, Friendship & Love…

  1. B. Gratitude, you are this to me. Over several years you have written so many incredible newsletters full of story and drama and I cannot thank you enough for all of this. Your stories have brought me much happiness and interest in you and your friends’ lives. Have made my days, my weeks come alive. Thank you so much,
    always your frined,

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